Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Baby Luke is here!!!

***Warning.. this is five pages single spaced people. So if you're not interested in every gory detail, you may want to skim this puppy.
 I wrote this the night I went into labor:
 February 12, 2012 I have been wanting to blog for sooo long now and I feel like right now would be a good time.. I’m officially 40 weeks today; yesterday I guess as it’s 1:02 am Sunday morning. Up until today, things have been really uneventful as far as feeling like I was progressing in labor. Today might just be another day, but I’m starting to question. Throughout this day and a little bit on Thursday and Friday night, I had been feeling kind of achy, like crampy like I was about to start my period. Today, it was worse and it has been kind of coming and going but I hadn’t thought too much of it. Then, like an hour and a half ago, I started to feel what I think were real contractions, and they have been pretty strong and it seems like pretty painful for just being the first ones. I have felt three big longs ones and was trying to go to sleep (randomly when we got home tonight at like 10:30, our power went off for like 45 minutes. By the time it turned back on, we were both way tired and so we decided just to call it a night. That was, until I kept feeling these cramps/contractions. Since I feel like they are somewhat consistent and keeping me up, I figured I might as well time them and see if they are anything to take seriously, so I got out of bed, downloaded a contraction app, and am now sitting here writing this and waiting for another one to happen. … and I think it might be happening right now.. it’s still hard to tell with these things. It’s weird because everyone keeps asking me if I’m so excited and if I can believe I’m almost going to be a mom and everything, and to be honest, the whole things seems so surreal. Like it doesn’t seem real that in the next couple of days, we are going to bring an actual live human being into our family. And I am so excited, I’m so excited to see him for the first time and see what he looks like and who he looks like and swaddle him and hold him in my arms and to share that experience with Jered. I am excited to become a mom and to love this little guy with all that I have. But it just doesn’t seem real yet. I think Jered feels the same way. We have gotten everything ready and stuff, but because we have nothing to compare it to and don’t know when it will happen, it just seems like this vague event that it going to happen “some day”. I just can’t believe this day has finally come that I am 40 weeks pregnant. It’s something I’ve thought about for so long and I almost thought this day would never come. It has been really touching for me to see all of the support we have gotten from family and friends ward members coworkers, you name it. I feel very blessed and very loved. And although Jered is totally pushing for a Thursday delivery (he has a 4 days weekend this next weekend) I’m ready for our sweet baby Luke to come whenever he’s ready.

 February 18, 2012
Oh my gosh time keeps flying by and I still haven’t written about baby Lukes birth. To start off where I left off on my last post, those same contractions kept coming for the next 24 hours almost to the minute. They varied in time apart. We downloaded an app to keep track but they went from 30 min apart to 20 to 10-15 for a long time. We’re talking hours. It was Sunday and because they were coming so frequently, we didn’t go to church. I was so surprised by how intense they were. I had always heard that the first part of your contractions didn’t really hurt, you could just feel tightening. From the very first contraction I had, I had to stand up and breath through it. What I found worked really well for me was to put my arms around Jereds shoulders and rock back and forth through the contraction. He was sooo sweet. Jumping up every time I had one and rocking with me. For me, it was a really bonding experience as painful as it was, just seeing him run to me like that meant so much to me. At the end of every contraction, he would kiss my forehead and say, are you done? Then he would log it into the contraction app. Through all this, he was cooking me food, cleaning the house and packing our hospital bags.

 The day went that way with us waiting for the next contraction. It was awful because I could never relax, I always knew in a few minutes I would just have to do it again. Starting about 8 o'clock that night, they got too intense for me to stand, so I laid on the couch and breathed through them. For every contraction, Jered would hold my hand and rub my legs. It helped so much. At about 7, Jered's parents brought us over dinner. It felt good to eat something and we talked to them for awhile and then it was back to counting contractions. Sometimes, when I contracted, I felt like I was going to throw up. Then, about 8:30 without warning I PUKED MY GUTS OUT. My entire pregnancy, I didn’t throw up, then without warning it was like everything I had eaten the last three days came up. After that was when the contractions got really bad. They were about 10 minutes apart for a few hours and finally about 10 o’clock they started getting closer together. I laid on the couch for the next two hours until they were 5 minutes apart consistently for an hour. Then, as soon we figured it had been an hour, got together our hospital stuff and headed over to St. Joseph.

 By the time we got there, I was contracting pretty consistently. Like at least every 5 minutes if not more. They checked us in and the lady got us registered. We were put into a way nice delivery room and I was checked by a nurse named Jennifer. She said I was dilated to a 4 and that I could stay because I was far enough along . I was so glad. That was one of my biggest fears at that point was that I wasn’t going to be far enough progressed and that they were going to send us home. I changed into a gown and they said the anesthesiologist would be in in a few minutes to give me the epidural. She gave me an IV and started setting everything up. The IV made me a little shaky because I have a hard time with needles but I was able to calm down. Then, the guy came in to give me the epidural. He had me sit indian style on the bed and bend over while he gave it to me. It was WAY more painful than I expected because it wasn’t just a needle prick, apparently they send an electric shock down your back and into your nerves. When I felt that, it felt like he was puncturing my spine, like he was taking a chunk out of it which was again unexpected. After I got the epidural though, relief spread through my body about 15 min later. For the first time in over 24 hours, I could relax longer than a few minutes at a time. For the next few hours, Jered slept and I tried to and reveled in the hot tingly feeling my body had. I slept on and off but mostly just laid there and rested. We thought we were out of the woods.. that the worst was behind us. I don’t remember the exact times everything happened, but I think it was about 4 in the morning that what felt like my catheter popped off and I felt liquid so I called the nurse. She came in and checked the catheter and said that it was fine, it hadn’t broken that there was just some discharge...(tmi?) I asked her if my water could have broken and she said no that it wasn't enough liquid. Sometime around that point, closer to 7:30 she checked me and I was only at a 5, so she gave me petosin to speed up the process.

 From there, I started progressing really quickly. At about 9:30, Dr. akerman my ob came in to break my water. He put the stick like thing up there and tried to break it but he said it had already broken. The only thing I can guess is that it broke when I had called that nurse in but she just didn’t realize it. He also said I was dilated to a 9 and that he was going to have me labor down for a couple of hours or let the baby move down the canal by himself for as long as possible and then I would start to push. He thought the baby would be here by 11:00. 11:00 came and the nurse checked me. She said that it felt like the baby was posterior meaning his head wasn’t facing the right way and had me lay in the “frog” position for a half an hour which was supposed to encourage the baby to move to the right position. She wanted me to stay in that position for a half an hour, until 11:30. As I was waiting out the half and hour, I started to feel more pressure and asked her if I could push my button again that gave me an extra dose of medication. She said that yes I could but that if I did that there wouldn’t be any more medication in the epidural syringe. I asked her what the heck was she talking about, I hadn’t even started pushing yet. She was very shady about the whole thing and said that I needed to be able to have a little bit more feeling so that I could feel the contractions and push. That made me nervous but by that time I wasn’t really thinking clearly, I just knew we were close to having a baby. A half an hour later, she checked me again and said that the baby had turned and that we were ready to push. She showed me how to pull my leg up all the way to my chest and have Jered pull the other leg up to my chest. When a contraction started, I would take a deep breath, blow out and then take a second breath and hold it while pushing as hard as I could while jered counted slowly to ten. I would push three times like that with him counting to ten each time and we did that for every contraction. Well, the more time that went on, the more I could start to feel the contractions and the more pain I was in. the other thing that was concerning/frustrating was that for about the first two pushes, the nurse was helping me and stretching me and telling me when to push. After that, she like peaced out and was totally distracted. She wasn’t paying attention to when the contractions were happening and she would talk through them without having me push and she didn’t help us at all. Poor jered was trying to look at the contraction chart to tell me when they were at their strongest point and then every time we would have to get her attention to see if I was supposed to be pushing. Meanwhile, I could feel more and more pain with the contractions to the point that I started to lose it. Jered and I were soo done. This was the second night we had had without sleep and we were going on 36 hours of labor. I had been pushing for about 2 hours when dr. ackerman finally came in and started to really help me through them. About the time I started to lose it, and by that I mean just kind of moaning and crying and I don’t know what, Jered started to get emotional. At the time , I thought he was getting emotional because they were starting to say they could see the baby’s head, but he told me after it was because he couldn’t handle seeing me hurting so bad and it started to get to him. I felt bad he had to be in that situation because he was doing everything he could. He was pushing with me and counting with me and when I started sweating from pushing so hard, he would fan me in between contractions. He was so amazing. There is no way I could have done it without him.

 Somewhere during all of this, they realized that the baby had not in fact changed positions and was still posterior which made it even harder to get out. I was so close though. I just kept pushing harder and harder with all the strength I had left in my body. I was sore and hot and in pain and hungry and shaking and everything you could think of. They asked me if I wanted to feel the babies head and I did, that little slimy thing, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want a mirror to see, I just wanted the baby out. I wanted to be done being in pain, to be done pushing. I wanted that baby in my arms now. Dr. Akerman told me I had two more pushes and the baby would be out. I pushed with all of my might and felt him cut me… I was getting an episiotomy, one of the things I had dreaded most but the baby’s head was out and that was good. The second push the rest of him came out and they put him immediately on my chest. That image is burned into my memory. There he was, this baby I had been carrying for the past 9 months, who I had been laboring for the past 36 hours. He was here. The emotion that filled my body was so intense. I remember thinking.. oh my gosh he’s huge! And. He has a cone head! ( because I had pushed for so long, his poor head had gotten really beaten up and it was sooo misshapen. In fact, it was so cone shaped that he measured 22 inches and at the doctor a couple days later he measured 21 inches. ) I remember thinking he looks just like a Hawkins, specifically Tay. He just laid there and made little cry noises. He wasn’t screaming. It was just so surreal. Jered and I were so emotional. I don’t even remember saying anything to each other. We just looked at him. Then, they took him away to wipe him off better and Dr. Akerman started stitching me up. That concerned me because he just kept stitching and stitching. I think he gave me about ten stitches from the episiotomy. While he was stitching me up, they had Jered take off his shirt and do skin to skin with baby Lu. It was so sweet to watch. Then it was my turn. I just looked at him and kissed him and cried and cried. They weighed him and I was SHOCKED when they said he was 8lbs 9oz. Both doctor and nurse had told me he would be aboue 7 ½ pounds. I think the problem was that I had very little amniotic fluid so they thought he was smaller than he was. Sometime in all of that, they had me try and nurse him, and he did latch a little bit which I couldn’t believe he would do so fast. Overall, the whole labor experience was an extremely traumatic one for both Jered and I. We looked at each other later in the hospital room and said, not doing that again. I know that will go away, but because it was so much more worse than we were expecting, we both got a little freaked out. Now, I can’t remember the pain so much from the actual delivery, I just remember how I felt, which was past what I could cope with. That pushed me to a limit I had never been to before. There were some things that could have changed though. Our nurse could have been much more attentive not having Jered be the one in charge of pushing and they could have been a lot more up front about what the heck they were doing weaning me off the epidural. Despite all of this, there were some real tender mercies in the whole thing. One of those was the fact that we got a private room. That and it was free. They were doing construction on the hospital so they had all the post partum patients on a different floor, but all but three rooms were shared and it was really busy when we were there. By some miracle, we were given a private room which was really just a shared room that we didn’t have to share. We couldn’t figure out how we got so lucky because all along the halls, people had the same room as us but they had to share with another couple. We had a shared room to ourselves so Jered had his own bed. It was SUCH a blessing. I didn't have to worry about staying covered while I learned how to nurse and we could have visitors and Jered could stay with me. If you have a shared room, even husbands have to leave the hospital at 8:00pm. I would have died. Especially since they keep the baby in the room with you, they don’t take him to the nursery.

 We spent our valentines in the hospital and ate their “celebration of life” dinner. It was supposed to be filet minon and shrimp scampy but it was hospital food,, ha so it wasn’t really gourmet. Still, it was a sweet valentines day, very atypical but special none the less. I can’t say enough about how amazing Jered has been. I knew that he loved me before, but through this whole thing he had been incredible. So helpful with the baby, taking him in the night, changing him, playing with him, taking him on walks, running errands for me. Amazing. I don’t know how women have children without a supportive husband. It would be so difficult. But I love him very much and feel so lucky to have him. He’s so sweet with Luke. I love to see him interact with Luke. Having this baby is incredible. It is so amazing how a little over a week ago, I didn’t even know this little guy and now I cant imagine my life without him. When it really hit me that this was real was the second night we were in the hospital. The doctor had come in that morning early and said he was going to come back at noon that day to do the circumcision. I was so nervous for Luke and that whole hour before held and cuddled him getting him ready for the procedure. Noon came and went and my mom and Robynn came and spent the afternoon. I never heard another thing so I just figured they would do in the next day. At 9:30 that night, the nurse came in and said that the dr. was ready to do the circumcision. Right now?! I said, I didn’t even have time to get him ready! But they wheeled him away right then.. and I cried. It was unexpected and kind of out of my character, but it was then that I realized how real this all was. That that was my baby they had and were going to hurt, and that hurt more than anything. I had a similar experience on like the 2nd night home. We were playing eidlewiess (a lullaby we played while I was pregnant and that he responds to) and I was rocking sweet baby Luke to sleep when all of the sudden it hit me how much I loved this baby. It hit me how blessed I was to have him, and that I would have done it all again so I could have him. The pain, the traumatic experiences, everything if it meant bringing back my baby. It was then that I realized how much I truly did love him already. I am so grateful for him. For his sweet little spirit and for the happiness he brings into our home...we did it!!
Waiting for this baby to get here!!
Dr. Akerman, my ob who delivered baby Lu
Notice his head shape.. poor baby
Skin on skin with daddy
And mommy

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Christmas and a Shower in Utah!

This one is another update on pregnancy and just life and is very journal-ish but I just want it on here so I can keep all of these together. Read or skip, depending on how many details of my life you're interested in :)

Dec 30, 2011
I have been so bad at writing, I wanted to write about Christmas and the last few months of pregnancy. I am 33 almost 34 weeks now and things are moving along nicely. I’m starting to get a little bit nervous about the whole thing, especially the financial aspect of it.

In other news, I can’t believe how fast these last weeks are going. Last night Jered told me that according to his app I only have 43 days left. I looked at him and said no way that’s not right. But I did a little math in my head and it is right! My feelings are starting to be really mixed. On the one hand, it feels like we have been waiting for this forever and I can’t wait to meet our sweet baby. On the other hand, because my pregnancy has been pretty uneventful, it seems like we have just been going through our lives the same as before I was pregnant with some small differences but nothing major. And I haven’t been thinking about this baby every second so it feels like all of the sudden this is happening and it is starting to get a little scary. One of the concerns Jered and I have is that the baby is going to lessen our relationship with one another. We talked about it the other night and it’s hard to share each other with other people and with a baby there is no break. I told Jered that it was something I was very aware of and something I see so much is parent’s having kids and forgetting about eachother. I really don’t want that to happen but instead for us to grow closer together because of it and do it together. I know that everything is going to change once it is our baby and not just one we play with for a few minutes but it’s still a scary thing, but I think if we're aware of it we can have the best of both worlds.

Things are getting pretty squishy in the belly. I was reading the book for the birthing class that we’re not taking and it showed a picture of how squished your organs are in the third trimester. It’s amazing I can eat more than an apple with how small my stomach is right now and my poor intestines are packed into like a fourth of the space they used to be. The shortness of breath and constant kicks to the ribs all made sense with one look at the picture. I just can’t imagine having twins.. teena is a rock star. The baby is getting so big that I can feel his body parts. It’s fun to feel him so active.

Elise and andra had a baby shower for me while I was in Utah and it was sooo fun to see everybody. I got to see all my roommates who I hadn’t seen most of them since my wedding. They are such fun girls and I feel so lucky to have stayed in touch with them all this time. It was so sweet of elise to do that for me and it was way cute. I also got some really fun things that I am excited about. Just good thoughtful gifts. It was a great way to end the trip.

Christmas was fun. It’s interesting as you get older how Christmas isn’t what it used to be. I find myself looking forward to when we are the givers and now so much the receivers like for our kids. I am excited to have a little guy who can’t wait for Santa Clause and Christmas morning. It was a fun and relaxing day though. I got a cricket paper cutter which I’m way excited about and Jered got a bunch of clothes and a huge tool set which will be nice. He made me the cutest present which was a book for baby Luke that he wrote himself and drew the pictures. It is a story of how we met but he made it into a fairy tale. He is so sweet and thoughtful, I always love to see what he comes up with. I got him a “chill town” shirt from big brother that he is like obsessed with and loved, so I’m glad for that. On this end, we got money to buy new temple clothes which is something we have been needing FORVER so that’s a great present. We gave my parents tickets to see brad paisley, Scotty mcleary and the band perry in concert and they seemed way excited so that was fun too. That night we went up to grandma and grandpas for Christmas dinner with the whole fam and it was so fun to be with everyone and play games and to the things I grew up doing. It was also fun to be with ash and tay. We hadn’t seen them since their wedding in june and we really have a good time together. I always love going up there and seeing everyone and it was nice to have so much time this year!
Life is good..

Here are some pictures of life and some Christmas Festivities:
Hannah's Birthday
Watching ice skaters at the Irvine Spectrum
Amazing christmas house in Laguna Hills
Watching the sunset after the sawdust festival in Laguna Beach
Lights at Eagle Mountain

Update from the past..gulp..4 months!

So.. I feel like this is a little anti climatic to write about my pregnancy when the Luke has already been born for two weeks, but for posterity's sake, I wanted to at least post these past journal entries I wrote months ago in hopes of putting them on my blog.

This is from back in November so I was like 28 weeks prego..

These weeks are seriously beginning to FLY by. I can’t believe I am already starting my third trimester at the end of this week. This whole thing has gone by so fast. I am starting to get a little freaked out as everything is starting to seem very real to me. I think what made that really happen was doing my baby registries. I spent hours pouring over the registries at Babies R Us and Target. Turns out, registering online is wonderful because you can read reviews on everything you register for. But it was registering that made me realize there is so much in the world of baby I know nothing about. At the same time, registering made me so excited to finally have out sweet baby here. For some reason I LOVE the bath stuff. The little robes and hooded towels and cute little bathtubs are to die for. As I went through and carefully picked each item, I couldn’t help but imagine using them for baby Luke. I love reading and hearing about peoples birth experiences. It gives me chills every time. I am so excited to experience that with my sweet husband, I think it will be such a special time.

Things I have noticed the past few weeks:

I have now gained a little over 15 pounds. I am gaining about a pound a week pretty consistently these days, I just hope I can maintain that and blow up like a balloon the last couple of months.

Baby Luke is starting to go CRAZY! I feel him kicking a lot more during the day when before he was a lot more active at night (hopefully that means he’ll be a good sleeper?. Fingers crossed) The other day, we were playing music to my belly trying to see what he would respond to. I couldn’t really tell a difference until Jered started reading him a Dr. Suess book, then he started moving like crazy. Turns out he loves his daddy’s voice more than music.

Bending over is becoming a real chore. I sort of avoid it at all costs. When I do have to bend down, I find myself making grunting noises despite my best efforts not to sound like an old woman.

I am still craving gross food. Ie. Last week I decided the only thing I wanted for lunch were some Mcdonalds chicken nuggets, some French fries and one of those nasty squished happy meal hamburgers. I wanted it to the point that when the first Mcdonald’s credit card machine was down I drove all the way across town and risked being late back to work just to get some of that goodness in me. (Mom if you’re reading this, please don’t disown me)

Thank the heavens I still haven’t had any heart burn. It may come later but I have heard so many horror stories about it that it’s something I’ve really been dreading.

I feel myself slowing down. If I’m on my feet all day, but the end of the day I am wiped out. I get tired really easily and Jered teases me about how late I sleep in on Saturdays. On the days that I can sleep, I feel like I could just stay in bed forever!

My back is my biggest battle. It hurts always. Weird pain especially on my left side and I don’t really know what causes it. What I do know is that sitting at a desk all day doesn’t help it. I have tried a back brace which didn’t to much and Jered is good to give me massages when I’m dying but I think it’s just going to get worse. I don’t really want to take medication so it’s just something I’ll have to muscle through for the next 3 months.

Overall, things are going so well. I am so grateful I haven’t had any complications thus far. What a blessing to be able to still live my life while our baby continues to grow stronger and bigger. Who knows what will happen in the next few months, but for now, I am so grateful for the blessing of a healthy pregnancy.